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Day 137

Affirmation:

I only make choices that are beneficial to my life and support my well-being.

I only make choices that support my growth into a  more empowered and more authentic, loving human.


It is easy to get into the habit of making choices that do not serve one’s life or self.   That may be the habit of choosing an unhealthy relationship, choosing to be in situations which promote victimhood, or choosing to worry (which offers nothing positive to any experience).   Consciously choosing that which is physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy is always the right choice, for both the self and others.  Choosing to nourish the body with the healthiest possible food is choosing well-being.  Choosing to end or avoid engaging in toxic situations is choosing to support one’s growth.  Choosing to view oneself as worthy and valuable is choosing empowerment.  Choosing to feel compassion, tolerance, understanding and acceptance is choosing authenticity.   Choosing to have a positive attitude and positive thoughts is choosing to be a more positive, loving person.   Being conscious of what one is choosing – and whether or not the consequences of those choices  support well-being – is an important part of living a joyful, healthy, authentic life of love and truth.

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365 Days of Inspiration –  Daily Affirmations and Insights for Living a Joyful Life of Empowered Consciousness

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Day 86

Affirmation:

Today I will pause to reflect on the many who have chosen to share some time on this planet with me.

I am thankful to my beloved for choosing to share another day with me, recognizing that it is a choice.

I am thankful to my family for choosing to share some of their time on earth with me, recognizing that it is a choice.

I am thankful to my friends for choosing to let me walk a while with them in life, recognizing that it is a choice.


Just as we’re learning to appreciate the role choice plays in our lives, we can also appreciate the choices of others, and how their choices make a positive difference in our world. Every day that a friend is still a friend,  we are blessed by their choice to share part of their journey with us.  Even those we appear to be well rooted in life with – children, parents and spouses – can choose at any time to be elsewhere and without our company.  When we acknowledge that our interactions and time shared are based on choice, we’re less likely to take them or our relationships for granted, instead experiencing each moment with a fully grateful heart.

GETTY IMAGES

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Day 84

Affirmation:

I reside in the present moment.

I am grateful for past experiences and how they help me make healthy choices now.

I choose my responses to life consciously.

I choose my responses to life based primarily on what is here and now.

I do not miss out on the present because of the past.

I live new experiences as uniquely their own.


Even if we don’t live in the past, the past lives in us.  Once we experience something we can’t un-experience it.  Every thought ever thought, every feeling ever felt, every experience ever had will remain inside us as emotional markers that are stored in memory and as subconscious impression.  Every new experience causes the brain to scan its repository for related or similar experiences from which to assess the current, influencing our responses and contributing to our *here and now* moments.  The system is designed to protect us from danger and help with other aspects of survival, but the brain and subconscious can’t take into account the variables that are part of each new experience.  Only our conscious minds can do that.  And because we are usually responding to the present from our subconscious, we often make the present pay the price for the past.  Countless relationships have been abandoned because the subconscious mind related them somehow to a previous painful situation.  Innumerable opportunities have been passed up because the subconscious found an impression in its cache that sent a warning.

The past can be a good thing, giving us the tools we need to interpret our present experiences.  It teaches us that dogs bite, fire burns and that too much alcohol makes us sick, but it can also be a mechanism that holds us back from being *here and now* in new experiences.  Only by being conscious and aware of learned and subconscious responses can we consciously choose to respond to new experiences deliberately, fairly and without defensiveness, seeing them for what they actually are, not only what our previous experiences want to tell us they might be .

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Day 73

Affirmation:

I choose to be happy NOW.

My happiness comes from within.

My happiness is a choice and a product of my perception.

My happiness is independent.

I am happy NOW.


Happiness is part of our natural state of well-being.  No matter what we are we are surrounded by, no matter what we believe we lack, no matter how busy or tired or disappointed we are, we can still be happy.  Though struggles and pain can make choosing to experience happiness a challenge,  it is always a choice, one made possible by shifting perspectives.
When we set prerequisites for happiness – when I have more money, when I get a new job, when I fall in love, when I retire – we make happiness an elusive dream, one we may never catch up to.  None of us know what our tomorrows will bring or how many we have in front of us.  What if we wait too long?   By choosing to be happy in the moment, just as things are, we create a pathway for the rest to come…and feel better while we’re waiting.   We may have to wait for retirement, but no one has to wait for happiness.  Happiness is part of who we are already.  It’s only a matter of choosing to let it be our dominant expression.

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Day 69

Affirmation:

I let go my resistance to life’s natural rhythms and allow myself to be carried through change and growth.

I surrender my need to control every outcome and circumstance and allow life to unfold naturally.

I  surrender to faith.

I live with trust.

I let go.


Surrendering is not giving in or giving up, it is letting life unfold in its mysterious unbridled way, accepting that some things simply can’t be controlled.  When we surrender to life, we let go of our resistance – which pushes against the natural flow of things – and allow ourselves to become a part of the harmonious rhythm of the universe.  When we surrender, we throw our oars in the river and let the current carry us, acknowledging that sometimes we truly do not know what is best, but having faith that something greater than us does.  Surrendering is accepting the unacceptable, when there is no other choice.  Surrendering is accepting the inevitable as part of life’s journey, even if we don’t really want to.  Observe a leaf floating downstream, a hawk gliding on an air current, or a child going down a slide, and you are observing surrender.  Let’s know when to be the leaf, the hawk, the child, and let life carry us for a while.

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Day 50

Affirmation:

It is never too late to begin again.

Every moment is an opportunity to start over.


 

No matter how futile a situation may seem, it is never too late to begin anew.   Just as we like to view each new year as an opportunity to begin again, so too can we view each day – and even each moment – as an opportunity for a fresh start.   Whatever has not been working can be given a second (or third or tenth) chance by choosing a ‘starting over’ attitude.   A discussion turning into an argument can be stopped and started in a new direction.  A relationship that is struggling can be given a chance to begin again.   Age, health, education, time, experience, opportunity, history, re$ources, and location are oft used excuses for not starting something over when fear is usually the real culprit.  Starting something over can be scary, scary enough to make staying the same preferable, however toxic, unhealthy, or growth inhibiting that may be.  Don’t allow fear or excuses to prevent every situation from being the best it can be.  If something is not going the way that we wish it to, or working out as best we think it can, seize the opportunity in every moment to start over.

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Day 28

Affirmation:

Today I will do something completely and utterly pointless… just because.


It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day have-to’s, need-to’s, and must-do’s.  Using time efficiently, making every moment count, making sure everything has a purpose behind it- these are rationales that create our lives in this modern world.  Being productive and practical has its place, but so does giving ourselves permission to do something that has absolutely no obvious merit.  Admittedly, even the pointless has a point.  It frees us from regimental, well-defined and ultimately limiting thinking.  It creates a space – if only for a few minutes – where we can be spontaneous, curious, adventurous, creative and fully present in the here and now, fully alive and fully experiencing life. And if anyone asks why you did it,  smile and say “Just because.”

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Day 26

Affirmation:

Each morning I begin again, alive with hope, determination, and courage.

I awaken to each day as if awakening to another incarnation.


 

Every new day delivers the promise of full potential.  Each morning is the start of a new, 24-hour lifetime.  No matter what setbacks or disappointments yesterday brought, a new day promises new opportunities and every chance to start again- in love, hope, courage, faith, determination, and empowerment.

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Day 24

Affirmation:

I trust my feelings and emotions as part of my inner guidance.

If a situation or choice feels right to me, I know it is right for me.


 

We each have an inner guidance system that helps us navigate through life and toward our fullest potential.  Our feelings tell us if we’re working with or against that guidance.   Tension or ease, expansion or restriction, blocked or allowing, comfort or stress, relief or uncertainty….these are some of the feelings that tell us if we are working in harmony with our inner guidance or not.   Our feelings tell us if someone we meet might be a positive influence in our lives, or if we should be cautious.  Our feelings tell us when it’s safe to walk alone and when we should choose a different direction.  Our feelings can even tell us which house to buy- “It just feels like home.”  It’s always in our best interest to trust our inner guidance and our feelings- if a situation or choice feels uncomfortable it’s important not to override that feeling with reason and analysis.  When we have to select between two options and don’t know which is best, our feelings are an excellent gauge. By using our imaginations we can test-drive our choices and see which one feels right.  The better choice will produce the better feeling.

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(Recommended companion reading for this affirmation)

Day 251

Affirmation:

I will laugh whenever possible today

I will smile as often as I can

I will balance seriousness with silliness

Just for today I will let my burdens go

_______________________

It is all too easy to become drawn into the heavy, dark, and serious side of life when so many external forces operate within that energy. Media sources-like television, radio, and print-bombard us with worrisome, angry, hateful and fear filled images and messages. Co-workers, family members, neighbors, and others in our daily experiences often do the same. If we aren’t deliberate and conscious in our interactions and choices, we can be brought down too. But if we pay attention, we can choose actions, thoughts and feelings that keep life light. We can turn off the heavy programming and turn on the light and fanciful. We can take a break from frustrations- consciously refusing to acknowledge them for just one day. We can surround ourselves with people, places, and things that makes us smile and laugh. And we can remind ourselves that life is just to short to plod through when we can choose to skip or even fly.

crawling through mud

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(Recommended companion reading for this affirmation)

Day 222

Affirmation:

Today I will allow the river of my heart to flow freely to its Source and to others as part of our interconnectedness.

______________________________

The heart is like a river. When closed it can be likened to the river that has had its flow unnaturally impeded by a dam. When the heart is open it compares to a river flowing freely as part of a larger system, connected to other rivers, streams, and tributaries.  A freely flowing river also has the potential to be directly connected to its source, the ocean.  The human heart and its energies connect each person to every other living thing, seen and unseen, and to the energy of Creation itself, our Source.  The challenge is to keep the heart open and flowing. Every human is born with their hearts wide open, freely receiving and giving of love. One look in a the eyes of a contented baby and you can see it. Their little sighs tell you that they are awash in the energy of love. As we grow we experience woundedness, betrayals of trust, and other’s fear given to us in the guise of love. It’s those experiences that create the shutdown of our hearts.  In order to protect our emotional selves we dam up. We withhold love until a recipient is proven worthy.  We revoke love the moment we feel threatened in a relationship.  The ego responds to the threat in the same way the endochrine system responds to a physical threat, and the result is flight or fight. In the case of the heart, we all too often choose flight.  But therein lies the key, we choose. It may well be an unconscious choice but it is a choice, one most of us are asked to make at some point in our lives.  Daring to let love flow freely, both to and from the heart, takes courage, but without surrender, we remain like the damned river, our hearts closed off and unable to feel the connection to life, others, or our Source.

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Day 158

Affirmation:

I choose to be in relationships that support my evolution into consciousness.

I choose to be in relationships that promote my spiritual integration.

I choose to be in relationships that respect me, my choices, my path and my intention, even if they do not agree with them.

I choose to be in relationships that are authentic, heart-centered, and embody the Divine.

I choose to work toward healing relationships that have lost their way but hold potential.

I choose to leave relationships that deny me my-self, my choice, my path and my intention.

I choose to leave relationships that willfully deny me support, consideration and reciprocation.

I choose to leave relationships that inhibit my expression and growth, or the expression and growth of the other.

I choose to leave relationships in which I am not engaging from, or being engaged from, love.

                                                           ____________________

 The more you grow and become the empowered, conscious, integrated and evolving spiritual being you are, the more you will find yourself uncomfortable in relationships with those who are living from a different perspective.  You will begin to feel a need for authentic relationships.  Authentic relationships are those that are evolved beyond the ego, the small self and the small mind. They are created in heart-centered consciousness and embody spiritual evolution and integration of mind, body and spirit. They promote harmony, inter-dependence, unconditional support, and are founded in loving intention.  If there is a goal or reason for authentic relationships it is to support each other’s individual growth and expansion.   Authentic relationships are conscious choices, not obligations.   They are wants, not needs.   Authentic relationships may be short-lived or life-long.  There is a very conscious understanding in authentic relationships that when the relationship no longer serves both parties, it can dissolve naturally, instead of being clung to out of an ego-centered need. That does not mean that authentic relationships do not have conflict, but conflict is understood as a natural part of two wholes expressing individuality.  When conflict does arise, it is resolved mutually and respectfully.  The more authentically you live your life, the more you will desire authentic relationships.  That may mean leaving those which no longer promote expansion, are incongruent with your  path, or find you unable to be supportive of the other.  It may also mean being authentic in your half of a relationship that you wish to maintain, such as with a family member, though they have differing views.  In those situations we learn to be authentic in our own selves while respecting the evolutionary path of others.   Living in harmony does not mean isolation from those who resonate to a different beat, but in our interpersonal relationships it does mean engaging as authentically as possible.

[Note: I wish I could have posted with a picture of people engaged in an authentic relationship but the reality is that authentic relationships do not ‘look’ any different from others. I chose this photo because it makes visible the attributes of an evolved, authentic relationship.] 

 

 

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Day 113

Affirmation:

I respect the choices of others and ask the same of them.

I walk the path to wholeness that is right for me.

                         ____________________

There are as many spiritual paths as there are travelers.   No singular way can be right for every person- each  heart and every soul are in search of their own unique home.  Buddhism, Judaism, Muslim, Shinto, Gnosticism, New Age Spirituality, Wicca, and the thousands of other paths to wholeness,  each hold merit for the one who has chosen it.  It is important to follow the road (or roads) that meet the needs of your inner being, regardless of the opinions of others.  It is equally important that we ask that our choices be respected.   And,  just as we ourselves ask for respect, so too must we respect the way of others.  On this day, as many choose to honor one of the world’s great teachers-Yeshua ben Joseph /Jesus-  we can appreciate his messages of loving respect and tolerance  “Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1).  And, “And as you would have that men should treat you,  treat them likewise.”  (Luke 6:31).  And,   “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:39)

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Day 101

Affirmation:

Even if I am sinking in the negativity of a situation, I have the choice to lift myself out of the poison and be purified.

I would not choose to bathe in physical poison and I will not choose to bathe in emotional poison either. 

I choose to be purified and made better and stronger by life’s experiences.

                             ____________________________

Every difficult, challenging, and painful experience has the potential to both poison and purify.  When a situation poisons, it promotes negativity and toxic emotions.  It may cause us to become defensive, detached, or walled up.  Those who have been poisoned by their life experiences are often thought of as mean, bitter, resentful, or hurtful people.  Sometimes they are phobic, depressed or suicidal.  They may just be chronically unhappy, worried, or complaining.   When a situation purifies, it fosters positive emotions and well-being.  Someone who has been  purified by an experience is made better, stronger, more determined and more positive for it.   Those who have been purified have usually tasted the poison but have chosen to live without it.   People who have been purified by life are thought of as survivors, role models, and heroes.  They are the people who cause us to say, “I don’t know how he/she does it.   They are the ones who tell others to ‘make lemonade’.  You rarely hear them complain.  They exhibit an optimism and determination that allows them to be and be better for their trials.   So what makes the difference?  Choice.  Every experience that comes our way offers us a chance to become poisoned by negativity, or to be purified by the experience and better for it, but we alone decide which it will be.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki poses with Jim Martinson, an Army veteran who won the gold medal in downhill skiing at the 1996 Paralympics in Albertville, France, at the 24th National Disabled American Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colo.

PHOTO BY DONNA MILES

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(Recommended companion reading for this affirmation)

Day 61

Affirmation:

I understand and accept that there are many paths in life.

I appreciate the diversity created by a world of choice.

I respect the choices of others even if I do not understand them.

___________________

Human beings are blessed with free choice, a gift we often wish to keep for ourselves and deny others.   There is no one right way to travel through life; there are as many paths as there are minds to conceive of them.    What is right for me, may not be right for anyone else; I do not know the soul’s journey another person has committed to, their life experiences, or their belief system.  I will stand in opposition of another only when their choices violate my own ability to choose, or the free choice of others.  In all other ways, I respect the choices others make as their own.  Opposing and divergent views create the contrast and diversity the mosaic of creation thrives on.

Today I remind myself to express tolerance and respect for the choices and expressions of others, rather than judgement.

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Day 60

Affirmation:

I release the expectations I place on others.

I seek to control only my own behaviour.

                          ____________

It is easy to become frustrated when others do not act in ways appropriate to my expectations.   If I have expectations of consideration and I am ignored, I am likely to feel badly.  If I have expectations of receiving a gift and none arrives, I am likely to be disappointed, hurt and frustrated.  Whatever my expectations are, I must recognize that they are based on MY beliefs, feelings, previous experiences, moral, values, ethics, ideals, dreams and more.  My expectations are a reflection of ME and to place them on another, especially if they haven’t been informed of them as a guideline that I’ve set for THEIR behaviour, is unfair and unjust.  I can not control the behaviour of others.  I can not force someone else to adhere to my expections.  I can only, myself, act in congruence with my own expectations.  If I expect courtesy, I must be courteous.  If I expect kindness and respect, I must give kindness and respect.   I will allow others to be and act in accordance with their own beliefs, feelings, morals, values, ideals, dreams and previous experiences.  I will not allow myself to be mistreated but I will also not mistreat others by placing my guidelines for behaviour upon them.    I always have the choice to disassociate with those whom I am not in rapport with.  I can always choose my response, but it is not my place to choose another’s. 

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Day 42

Affirmation:

My life’s work and efforts are meaningful because I give them meaning

I do not look to others or the world to validate my purpose.

                                       ________________________

I have often said I want to do something meaningful with my life…to make a difference,  to change the world in some small or big way.   And when choosing a path of effort, I often ask myself, “Is this meaningful?  Will it make a difference?”   The reality is that I may never know if what I do makes a difference but if it’s meaningful to me then it is meaningful.  Too often we look for the applause or payback from the world to determine our effort’s meaning and worth.   How many (now famous) persons went to their graves without feeling that they did something truly meaningful only because  while they were alive the world didn’t validate them or their work.  They relied and waited on the external to define what was meaningful about their lives.    The only person who can decide if what I do is meaningful is me.  Only I can validate myself.  

Van Gogh’s Irises

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Day 32

Affirmation:

I let go of regret.

I make mistakes, learn from them and move on with responsibility and grace.

                                           ____________

I think everyone can look back on a time when they believe they could have made a better choice.    How often  people say, “If I had it to do over again…”  But even if we could go back and have a do-over,  we would always make the same choices (unless we could take our current awareness back with us, and we can’t).  Decisions are based on all that’s available in the moment they’re made: our hopes, our fears, the world and people around us, everything that led up to that moment and everything we think in that moment about our future…. The only way any choice made could ever be made differently is if the circumstances that went into that decision were also different.   We’d have to go back to our very first breath.  So what to do then with all those woulda’, coulda’, shoulda’ thoughts?   The only thing anyone can do is take the past and embrace it as a learning experience.  Be appropriately sorry perhaps, but see it as an experience that is a part of the learning to be and become better than who we were yesterday.  Today I embrace one of my so-called regrets and let it go, knowing things could not, as the universe was set up at that time, have been any different.  I give thanks for the opportunity to learn from hindsight and determine to use my experience to make better choices in the future.   I take responsibility for my past choices but regret only cripples.  Today I let it go.

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